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American Rescue Plan Act: Medicaid HCBS Direct Care Workforce Reform and Analysis

Expanding, enhancing, and strengthening the direct care workforce

Wisconsin’s direct caregiving workforce is the backbone of home and community-based services. However, the industry is in crisis. Today, one in four direct caregiver positions is vacant. We are projected to need an additional 20,000 home care workers by 2024.

To better recruit, support, and retain these vital workers, our approach to using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds includes:

  • Conducting workforce surveys. Data will help assess turnover, tenure, wages, benefits, and other factors.
  • Expanding career opportunities. A statewide professional certification system for direct care workers will be created to improve competency and career advancement. Workers can gain portable skills that apply from one employer to another without retraining, with a curriculum developed by our academic partner, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Visit to learn more.
  • Designing a statewide workforce platform, WisCaregiver Connections. This one-stop portal, will feature job postings, candidate profiles, credentialing details, training opportunities, a resource library, and more. It will include a function to auto-match employers with job seekers. Qualified HCBS agencies and providers (see below) can register for this free platform.

This work will benefit agencies and workers who support these programs:

  • Children’s Long-Term Support Program
  • Family Care
  • Family Care Partnership
  • IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct)
  • Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • Fee-for-service (FFS) providers who serve HCBS participants.

Goals include:

  • Better training and education for caregivers
  • A pathway for career advancement
  • More direct care workers
  • Improved quality and sustainability

In the News


Last revised September 25, 2023